Atmore Police Release Information On Sunday’s Pursuit, Shooting

May 25, 2009

atmorestatement.jpg

The Atmore Police Department has released a statement detailing the events surrounding their shooting of a suspect in Walnut Hill field early Sunday morning.

For an exclusive gallery of photos from the scene and an earlier Sunday morning story on the shooting, click here.

Glenn Carlee, director of public safety in Atmore, has released the following statement on Sunday morning’s shooting of suspect in Walnut Hill by Atmore Police:

On May 24, 2009, at approximately 1:27 a.m., the Atmore Police Department received a call of shots fired in the area of Ashley Street and Jones Street. Police officers responded to the area where they spotted a white Nissan Altima traveling at a high rate of speed and running the stop sign at the intersection of Ashley Street and Carver Avenue. Officers attempted to stop the vehicle.

At this time, the driver continued his evasive actions and failed to yield to blue lights and sirens.

shootphootos.jpgAt 1:37 a.m., officers advised they were in pursuit of this vehicle and that the driver was failing to stop. The driver led officers through residential neighborhoods, running stop signs and using evasive maneuvers to avoid officers’ attempts to stop the vehicle in a safe manner.

At 1:40 a.m., Atmore Police notified the Escambia County Florida Sheriff’s office that the vehicle had continued onto Highway 97 south. Officers were following the vehicle at a safe distance awaiting the arrival of Florida officers. The vehicle turned east onto Highway 164 and then north toward Gobbler Road. As the vehicle turned back south onto Highway 97, the driver of the fleeing vehicle pulled over into the northbound lane, apparently in an attempt to hit an Atmore police unit head on. The Atmore unit left the roadway barely avoiding impact and became stuck in a field. The driver of the fleeing vehicled proceeded south and made a U-turn and backed into a wheat field just south of that location.

Two of the pursing officers, thinking the driver of the fleeing vehicle had ended the pursuit, exited their vehicles and walked up to the front of the car with weapons drawn and ordered both occupants to raise their hands. The passenger of the vehicle, an adult black male, immediately complied and the officers heard the passenger pleading with the driver to comply with the officers’ orders.

As officers repeated their commands, the driver turned the steering wheel toward the lead officer and accelerated toward him. The lead officer fell backwards to avoid being run over by the fleeing vehicle. At this point, the driver of the fleeing vehicle attempted to run over the second officer who began firing at the vehicle. As the first officer came to his feet, be began firing toward the rear of the vehicle.

The vehicle got back on Highway 97 traveling north toward the patrol unit he had earlier forced off the road. The vehicle then left the roadway and became stuck. At 1:45 a.m., officers requested medical assistance to the scene. The driver, who has been identified as Danny Ray Williams, an adult white male, had suffered a gunshot wound and was transported by Atmore Ambulance to Atmore Community Hospital, then later to USA Medical Center in Mobile where he was listed in critical condition on Monday.

The passenger was interviewed and released without charges.

The Escambia County Florida Sheriff’s Department, the Florida Highway Patrol and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement were called to conduct the investigation. All officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Comments

39 Responses to “Atmore Police Release Information On Sunday’s Pursuit, Shooting”

  1. J.J. on May 27th, 2009 6:46 pm

    It’s easy in a forum like this to claim your someones brother, sister or even Chuck Norris. My own claim is that my younger brother was killed by a drunk driver who thought he had to run from the cops. I can’t feel sorry for any drunk drivers! It is better them since they made that choice then innocent children or even one of our officers. One less drunk off the road as far as I am concerned and that is a good thing.

  2. Danny's Sister on May 27th, 2009 2:51 pm

    First of all, I would like to say THANK YOU to all who have shown love, support, and concern over this situation. Danny was my only sibling and I am going to miss him deeply. Words can not express how confused I am on all the details surrounding this whole event and I pray that in the end I can find closure. For all of you who have jumped to conclusion about my brother or the police officers involved, I have to ask all of you …How do you think it makes all of the people involved feel to read all of your negative and childish comment concerning these turn of events. Please get some self respect and keep all your negativity to yourselfs (and read the rules about posting through this site)! Furthermore, how about we all wait until ALL of the facts are in, because I promise all of you, that the story goes on. Rest in peace big brother….I Love you and I will miss you!
    You Are Forever In My Heart,
    Your Baby Sister

  3. LawEnforcementWatch on May 27th, 2009 12:25 pm

    The time has arrived ( fifty years too late) for polygraph tests be given to law enforcement personnel……If law enforcement think it’s good enough to be used to get a better understanding of criminal behavior / activity then maybe it’s good enough to get the general indication that the Police are telling the truth or not? It doesn’t matter that the polygraph won’t hold up in court…..If all involved fail the test…it will help initiate new guidelines for Law Enforcement. Video cameras are a good idea Atmore! They will only help you to clear you as you foillow the law!

  4. Larry W. on May 27th, 2009 5:01 am

    ANYONE who takes a 2000 lb vehicle and runs it through town running stops and speeding through neighborhoods where our children play needs to be shot PERIOD! If a moron like this would have run over one of my family members, I would shoot him myself! These officers make squat for a wage to put their OWN lives in danger so that we can live without fear of leaving our homes, take a walk or enjoy a walk in tha park. I back them 100% in trying to keep themselves alive!

    Good Job Men and Thank You ! ! !

  5. Unreal on May 26th, 2009 5:20 pm

    This reply is to ” from the past ”

    I mean no disrespect to the family of deceased but I dont understand how you can sit there and make such a comment about hoping the officer sees the same justice that your friend Danny got.
    What kind of world do you live in?? We all have the same rules and laws to live by and when you make a decision to try and run over two officers then you know what concequences can follow and he made his decision and paid the ultimate price.
    If I have to choose to attend the funeral of a man who thinks its more important to risk the lives of innocent people by speeding through town and trying to run over police officers just to avoid another DUI ( Or ) attend the funeral of two officers killed while trying to protect our familes and children then tell me where to send Danny some flowers!

    .

  6. geranimo on May 26th, 2009 12:57 pm

    I would not expect anything less from the P.D., put yourself in their shoes! Obey the law…. If these thugs would have hit your child or some of your family and killing them or those shots that were fired randomly coming through your window at home and killing or wounding your family or yourself. I think Atmore needs to make some examples of folks and give them something to be afraid of. Our justice system SUCKS!!!! Criminals have more rights and care than we do, think about it…if they are jailed what happens, three square meals a day and heated and cooled, tv, cigs,shower, healthcare… These fools have nothing to be afraid of, most of them it’s like having a family reunion in jail!!!!!!!!!!! Start giving something to be afraid of , went through atmore today and thought twice about easing through that 4-way stop:}

  7. noh8rs on May 26th, 2009 11:25 am

    William,
    “The passenger of the vehicle, an adult black male, immediately complied and the officers heard the passenger pleading with the driver to comply with the officers’ orders.
    Do you know if the passenger was still in the vehicle when it took off again and the officers starting firing shots, or had he exited the vehicle?

  8. Capt.D on May 26th, 2009 11:06 am

    It’s a shame this happened but he should have just stopped. That would have ended any further incidents. Now a DUI is the last thing to worry about. I don’t know how much credit I would put on the passengers testimony, he won’t want to admit they did the shooting or anything else wrong. Thanks to both Atmore and Florida law enforcement for doing all they can to protect my family while I’m at sea.

  9. t on May 26th, 2009 7:58 am

    I’m sure people would be thinking a differnt way if this guy would have shot an innocent person. A small child asleep in it’s bed hit by a stray bullet perhaps. Or if he would have killed one of the officers. And I know we can’t live on “what ifs” but actions were taken. The split second decision to protect themselves or be killed is the action the police took. I personally will use self defense if someone is trying to shoot at me or run over me. And if Williams had nothing to fear and was totally innocent he should have simply stopped. That one decision would have prevented all the others decisions and all would have nothing to argue about here. And of course it’s easier to down someone about a life decision without truely being in the same position. I hate a life was taken, but I’m glad the police were at least trying to protect the innocent and keep crime down. And on the point about they had the tag number and could have got him later. If he wasn’t caught in the vehicle when court came he would have slipped thru saying it wasn’t him because it wasn’t his car. Or he could have simply never been found until he had fired into another neighborhood and as I said before shot an innocent person. I hate the mans family has to go thru the loss. And I’m glad there were not more casualties. I have family not far from where the ending was, if my little brother would have gotten shot I would have never gotten over it. Especially knowing Mr Williams just didn’t want to stop because of a previous DUI charge. He could have simply FOLLOWED THE LAWS.

  10. John Payne on May 26th, 2009 7:04 am

    Obey the law, Obey the law. There is no defense for a person flying threw town, trying to run over a officer of the law. Shots are no shots fired.

  11. concerned33 on May 26th, 2009 7:00 am

    guest — i dont think william is going to keep tom from posting in the future just because he is an idiot. the atmore police did not say he was shot in the head, but the other stories on here do. go back to the front page and click on the other stories about it. i don’t know how to add a link.

  12. Another missourian on May 26th, 2009 6:59 am

    Excuse me– just because you’re from Missouri doesn’t mean YOU know all the laws. The Motto “Show Me State” just means bring me the facts! Why not wait and find out ALL the FACTS before trying to be a Supreme Court Justice????

  13. guest on May 26th, 2009 6:48 am

    William, please take away the trash that Tom has posted and will post in the future. He is a loser. In the past…..quit putting a spin on the incident. nowhere in the facts has it said they put a bullet in the back of the suspects head. Another liberal, Obama, SSI dependent, Government take care of me comment.

  14. EMD on May 26th, 2009 12:48 am

    TOM: “That is LAME! I wish you all to HELL!”

    Tom…….sounds like you are already there yourself. I would guess you have a serious problem with anger and a root of bitterness. That is so very miserable, isn’t it? I hope you take some action to change that. If you don’t , you are going to have one very miserable life. What has made you so angry? You don’t have to answer me, but you would do well to answer yourself. How unhappy you sound!!! One finds what they dilligently look for. Thinking on things that are lovely, pure, and good can help bring a new outlook. I am not preaching at you. I am empathizing with your anger. I have been there. And, I know Who/what turned it around.

  15. from the past on May 25th, 2009 11:34 pm

    I’ve read the comments on the story and I can tell you exactly why Danny ran from the law – he had a horrible driving record and if he had gotten another DUI – it meant real jail time – true he made a horrible decision – but in my opinion the officers made an even worse decision – after all I am sure, knowing a little about procedure in such cases, they had the tag number – which by the way was his girlfriends vehicle – why did they continue the chase into another state. Seems the most simple solution would have been to arrest him at a later date than to put a bullet in the back of his head. Sure the officers sometimes have only minutes to make a life threatening decision – but in this case no matter how the police department and some of the public see it – it was a horrible decision on their part – I just hope the officer who shot Danny will also see the same justice that he had for Danny.

  16. concerned2 on May 25th, 2009 9:40 pm

    Hey Law and Order, You might want to check out Atmoreadvance.com from yesterday (Sunday). The first report they had online told of the possible shots fired on Ashley Street. No other source had this info as far as I know. You will have to look in the archives from yesterday to get the original . You might want to get your facts straight before you start running your mouth about what you don’t know.

  17. Chris Maloney on May 25th, 2009 9:18 pm

    There are just a lot of facts missing. There was a passenger and I hope he gets to tell the story of what really happend to shut all you crying people the hell up!

    Today is Memorial Day! Act like it!

  18. Lex on May 25th, 2009 9:03 pm

    Simply said…..Law abiding citizens would have stopped when the blue lights started.

  19. Unreal on May 25th, 2009 9:01 pm

    I know what point that you’re trying to make about an unwarranted chase but these officers only have minutes and bits & pieces of information available to them to make decisions.
    At 1:27am a call of shots fired occurs in the ashley st. area. Officers responds immediately and spots a suspicious car running stop signs and attempting to elude them. These Officers have to believe that this car is responsible for the shooting and do not know if there is a dead person or child laying somewhere nearby. They have to consider that this person is armed & dangerous until proven otherwise. They attempt to stop the driver in a safe and lawful manner but “he refuses to stop”. This person is responsible for knowing the laws of the road and could care less about the safety of innocent people (meaning You & me ) or the officers. Now the Officers could just let this Lawbreaker go and know that he can abuse these privilges anytime he wants and take a shot at someone when he feels like it or they can try to bring this person to justice. The officers are not looking to shoot someone because ( Trust Me ) they all know what media whirlwind and false propaganda is to follow such an incident.
    The driver of the suspect vehicle weather he was the “shooter” or “not” choose his or her course of action. They put several innocent peoples lives at stake and knew the full recourse of taking aggressive deadly actions towards Law Enforcement Officers. Don’t blame the officers for the pursuit of this vehicle but instead blame the driver who knows the laws of the road and broke them with little disregard for human life.

    I bet if you’re child had been shot and laying dead somewhere and the officers had decided to just let the driver go because he didnt want to be stopped then they would be guilty for that as well.

    Please put yourself in these officers shoes before you get critical of how they handle a call. These officers dont know all the answers when the call comes in and have to sometimes assume the worst but that is for all our safety. I only hope to open some peoples eyes to how the world really works. Life is not always fair to us and we have to handle it the best that we can.

    .

  20. escambiacitizen on May 25th, 2009 8:59 pm

    I for one am very proud of the law in both Alabama and Florida. Keep up the good work….If it was me they were shoot at in Atmore or me or my children, God forbid, on the Highway 97, 164, Gobbler Road, or Kanas Road and killed someone in MY FAMILY due to the fact these fools were running from the law (you know law abiding citizens stop) you bet I want to law to shoot first and ask questions later. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK GUYS!!!!

  21. Law and Order on May 25th, 2009 8:50 pm

    A new revelation of “reported shots fired” is the key new key concept here vs. the original failing to stop for a traffic violation. No mater how one spins this in support of Atmore PD, you must take a step back and ponder why did this tragic shooting took place. Is this an over zealous police action in light of a minor charge trumped up by a “reported shots in the area” or is it a true hardened felon who posed an actual threat to the public?

  22. BrokenGlass911 on May 25th, 2009 8:37 pm

    The article states that the vehicle was leaving the area where a shots fired call was received (shots fired calls in Atmore are common, by the way), and when Officer’s attempted to stop the vehicle (a routine traffic stop, for possible connection to the shots fired call) – the driver would not stop which is eluding an Officer, the driver was ignoring all traffic laws, and proceeded to ignore the lights and sirens (which are usually an indicator to stop)…Therefore, the Officers pursued the vehicle. People usually do not attempt to elude without reason, and I haven’t seen anyone ask that question – why didn’t the driver stop? Why was he running? Obviously there is more to the story in that respect.

    Now, if the driver was endangering an Officer or attempting to run over an Officer, I think that is just cause to fire upon the vehicle.

    Furthermore, with all the comments regarding the “pictures” this incident happened in the early morning hours – those pictures were taken the morning after, the morning after everything was all said and done and you can’t base anything off of that.

    None of us were there, and only the people who were there can tell the story. Perhaps, since so many people on here think that Law Enforcement is dishonest, perhaps you should get someone to interview the passenger of the vehicle and see what he has to say.

    Also, the article states that two Officers began firing upon the vehicle, it doesn’t state that any Officer deliberately shot the driver in the head, it sounds like there were bullets flying everywhere and the driver just happened to get shot in the head.

    Now, “Law and Order” on here who is from Missouri wants is all to believe that he or she is an attorney for throwing out words and phrases like ‘Supreme Court’ and ‘tort,’ but the fact of the matter is, this situation is done and over with and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Furthermore, I doubt that there will be any ‘tort’ action, because there is no grounds for such action. (But I would love to see this poster back up his or her smack with some actual Supreme Court cases.)

    Lastly, if you have issues with Law Enforcement, and can’t get the “4 G’s” as one poster mentioned, then perhaps the next time you’re in trouble you should call a crackhead.

  23. James Albrecht on May 25th, 2009 8:21 pm

    Since when does a dispatch of shots fired and observation of a speeding vehicle leaving the scene equate to a traffic infraction. The officers had no idea whether anyone had been shot or not, pursuit was justified. Shooting the suspect was also justified in that he attempted to run down 2 police officers. Believe it or not, a vehicle is considered a lethal weapon when used in the capacity that it was.

    You can say what you want, but according to all reports this shooting was justified and it was not a traffic violation.

    PC was established when the vehicle was seen speeding away from what was reported as shots fired.

  24. BrokenGlass911 on May 25th, 2009 8:20 pm

    Can I direct everyone’s attention to the fact that a driver who attempted to runover an Alabama State Trooper in April was shot and killed by State Troopers in April ‘09. The AST call is very similar to this call, and and when an Officer’s life is threatened he or she sometimes has to make the call as to whether or not to use deadly force.

    You can view that story here:
    http://www.rickeystokesnews.com/article.php/updated-breaking-news-alabama-state-trooper-has-to-kill-suspect-2399

  25. Tom on May 25th, 2009 8:08 pm

    All Atmore cops are LIARS! Just remember to read State Department Publication 7277 and you’ll realize that badge and that gun of yours won’t mean crap during the New World Order. They (cops) are not going to like being enslaved either. And also remember that the American people will take a stand against you evil thugs. You were sworn in to uphold the U.S. Constitution. Go ahead and keep pushing our buttons…. like the “Twisted Sister” song goes….. WE’RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT! But those sorry pigs want to sell their country out for what???……. $25-30.000? That is LAME! I wish you all to HELL!

  26. Law and Order on May 25th, 2009 7:24 pm

    In response to – “Hey law and order”:

    PC = Probable Cause. With that said, If a vehicle has a head light out, there is “PC” for conducting a traffic stop; however, does it mean that you can chase the car till the tires fall off the vehicle, and then shoot the driver in the head because he didn’t stop? I assert that the answer is a resounding NO! And if you think you can, you better brush up on your Supreme Court rulings. A question for you – is reckless endangerment a forcible felony like murder, rape etc, or is along the lines of a property crime like burglary or grand theft? You made the challenge and I’m from Missouri, so you should demonstrate to us the justification that allows you to keep up a chase that started as a traffic infraction which then ended in a shooting of the driver. To be more specific: a death which can and probably will lead to a tort because the officers continued this pursuit without justification!

  27. Marcus on May 25th, 2009 7:18 pm

    Everyone is missing the point. IF they were justified in shooting the guy because he threatened them with car, the point is they should have never gotten to that point. They had no reason to chase the guy into Florida. They should have called off the pursuit off when they crossed into Florida. It was not longer Atmore protocol, it was Florida protocol. You don’t chase a guy on misdeanor charges in Florida. In the 7-8 minutes it took to shoot the guy, Atmore knew if they had a gunshot victim. Notice they did not mention that they actually had someone shot in Atmore. They pursued a guy with no cause and broke Florida law.

  28. puzzled on May 25th, 2009 6:50 pm

    I love it that now you dont have all the idiots trashing law enforcement as they did earlier. No-one knew the background on this and negative commentary at that time was not needed.

  29. Unreal on May 25th, 2009 6:32 pm

    You know these Officers put their lives on the line everyday and when something does happen and they have to defend themselves, most of you are so ready to jump on them and accuse them of not justly doing their job!
    It’s easy to sit in the safety of your on home and cast stones at these officers, but it takes alot more to be out there facing the criminal element that these guys face everyday. Most of these officers are paid between $10 – $15 an hour and have families they are barely able to support. Not every shooting is justified but I think you atleast owe them your support until all the facts are in and an official judgement is made before you critize them!

    I know because I have been in Law Enforcement for 12 yrs!! If you dont like the job that these guys are doing then try the four G’s
    1. Get a Certification
    2. Get a Badge
    3. Get a Gun
    And
    4. Get out there

    .

  30. Hey law and order on May 25th, 2009 6:25 pm

    Well Apparently you are no law enforcement officer. The PC for stopping the vehicle was if you can read correctly thast some one is running stop signs and refuses to stop for law enforcement is endangering the public also called “reckless endangement.” Well put yourself in there shoes your responding to a shots fired call and you see a vehicle leaving the area that the call orginated from and the vehicle is driving at a high rate of speed. Do you let that person go free although he is breaking the law by running stop sign and not knowing that he might have just killed somone or at least tried to or do you stop him before arriving and let other law enforcement officer get there before you do because you have this vehicle that just let the area at a high rate of speed. You stop him or try to stop him and get his information that way later on if the law enforcement officer puts out the vehicle description and you just let that vehicle go without getting any inforamtion from. Now getting back to the chase read closely as it didn’t say anything about a routine traffic stop but it was a suspicious vehicle leaving the area of the call. All in all I say good job and keep up the good work.

  31. look at the pics on May 25th, 2009 5:58 pm

    SURE IS STRANGE THAT I BOUGHT AN ATMORE ADVANCE THIS MORNING AND NOTHING ABOUT THIS MATTER ANYWHERE!! SEEMS THEY ONLY REPORT THE GOOD ABOUT ATMORE AND TRY TO SHELTER THE MAJORITY OF THE BAD!!

  32. look at the pics on May 25th, 2009 5:56 pm

    HAS ANYONE NOTICED THAT THE ARTICLE STATED THAT ONE OF THE ATMORE POLICE VEHICLES WAS RAN OFF THE ROAD TO AVOID COLLISION AND WAS STUCK IN A FIELD, AND IF I’M LOOKING CORRECTLY AT THIS PICTURE BOTH THE ALTIMA AND THE ATMORE PD ARE IN THE FIELD BUT ONLY THE ALTIMA SEEMS TO BE THE VEHICLE THAT WAS COMPLETELY STUCK, THE FRAME IS SITTING ON THE GROUND AND LOOKS AS IF THE TIRES HAD SPUN FOR A WHILE AT A HALT! DIDN’T LOOK AS IF HE WERE GOING ANYWHERE ELSE IN THIS CAR- HIS ONLY OPTION WAS ON FOOT! SO, AT WHAT POINT WAS HE SHOT, WHILE HE WAS STUCK SPINNING HIS WHEELS???? WE’LL NEVER KNOW THE TRUTH OF THIS MATTER!! I APPRECIATE THE EFFORTS OF SOME POLICE PERSONNEL, BUT SOME
    ARE ONLY THERE FOR A PAYCHECK!

  33. andie on May 25th, 2009 5:33 pm

    please explain to me how a “routine traffic stop” all the sudden turned into a “call of shots fired”. sounds to me like they are trying to save the jobs of the officers involved. there was no mention of the shots fired call in the first article so now how can they say that that is why they were chasing the car? i know that he did not carry a gun. is this how they are trying to justify shooting an unarmed man??

  34. EMD on May 25th, 2009 5:13 pm

    “Sounds like they should have waited for backup when the car stopped in the wheat field.”

    “Sounds like” ain’t being there.

    Those who think they could do better, need to go apply and find out. Better than being a wanna be.

  35. Law and Order on May 25th, 2009 5:12 pm

    I still do not read a justifiable reason in the released statement that would give Atmore PD’s a free pass to continue this chase that originated from a traffic violation, which then ended so tragically. “Responding to a shots fired call,” how does this play into the rational? Was a white Nissan reported in conjunction with this “call?” We don’t know because these facts are missing. Not withstanding, what was the on-duty superviosor’s roll? At some point a supervisor has to step in and say enough is enough and call the chase off before this type of thing happens. But in this case, it is oblivious that this didn’t occur because the chase continued for at least 10 minutes in and around Atmore (1:27 – 1:37), and then continued for another eight minutes as it crossed over into Florida. Just my opinion, but no matter how the city tries to sugar coat this, it isn’t going to go over well for all involved.

  36. concerned2 on May 25th, 2009 4:56 pm

    Thank you Atmore and Florida officers and deputies for keeping us safe.

  37. john on May 25th, 2009 4:42 pm

    Sounds like they should have waited for backup when the car stopped in the wheat field.

  38. Mike Aaron on May 25th, 2009 4:37 pm

    Police being Police Officers and doing what us tax payers pay them to do – Protecting us & upholding the law. Good Job Officers, Keep up the Good Work!!

  39. Chris Maloney on May 25th, 2009 4:17 pm

    Wow! Sounds like something from tv!





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